In a world awash with social media, the humble email may seem a bit quaint and behind the times. Many marketers have been wondering whether communicating with your customers and membership via email, especially if they are part of the Millennial or Gen Z generations, might be ineffective in this day and age.
Well, you’d be wrong. In fact, in many ways email is more effective than ever, due to the fact that it is a less “noisy” medium relative to social media. The reader is less distracted reading an email than they are by social media where they are scrolling through hundreds of photos, videos, music clips, ads and more.
Plus, the very fact that someone has chosen to subscribe to your list makes them a more engaged, dedicated customer. Sending email is also generally free, whereas it is getting more and more difficult to reach people via social media without spending anything anymore.
Do Millennials Still Use Email?
Yes, very much so. The supposed death of email amongst the younger generation has been greatly exaggerated. And in fact, email is the preferred method of brand communication across all age groups. People like to use social media to share news, photos and connect with friends. But when it comes to the businesses they like and support, they prefer to hear from those businesses via email.
How to Create Email Marketing Campaigns That Work
Create Your List
If you have never gathered emails from your customers before, obviously, this is the first thing you are going to need to do. Be aware that there are laws governing how you are allowed to gather email addresses and communicate to their owners.
If you do these few things, you should stay out of trouble:
- Do not automatically add emails to your list, allow people to opt-in;
- Ensure that they have a way to opt out as well (if you use a bulk email service like Mailchimp, Send Grid or Constant Contact, they will have opt-in and opt-out features included automatically);
- Don’t buy third-party email lists;
- Be upfront and honest about who you are and what you are promoting or selling.
Offer Incentives to Sign Up
You may need to do more than post a link that says, “Sign up for news and events!” People are more likely to join an email list if they know that they will receive special perks not available to the general public.
Let potential subscribers know that they will have access to promo codes and other special deals. You could also offer some special “members-only” content like videos, online courses or downloads for anyone who joins the list.
Segment Your Lists
If you make an effort from the beginning to break down your email list into groups based on interests, demographics, or other factors relevant to your business, you can target your emails more effectively. Segmenting your list can be done as simply as asking new subscribers a few questions like, “Which of the following products have you bought from XYZ Corp?” or “Check which of the following information you are interested in receiving: New Product Updates; Sales and Deals; XYZ Corp In The News.” Or you could ask for demographic info like location, gender, age or hobbies.
Create Custom Targeted Emails
Once you have some information on your list members, you can target emails to specific groups that will be most likely to be interested. Take some time to think about your different audiences and what they’ll respond to and craft your emails accordingly. In this way, you will be more likely to convert emails into sales or whatever call to action you are making, and less likely to have readers unsubscribing due to being annoyed with irrelevant messaging.
Track Your Results and Refine Your Strategy
It’s imperative to use some sort of tracking strategy to see how many of your emails are opened, what links are clicked and whether those clicks lead to conversions (a sale, a sign-up, etc.). There are dozens of different bulk email services to choose from, ranging from free to paid depending on your list size and needs. Just be sure that whichever app you use, you take advantage of the tools that allow you to track the success of your emails.
Using these tools, you can begin to see which of your groups are most responsive and lucrative. This can be a great benefit when deciding where to direct future recruitment and advertising efforts. You can also test out a few different styles and messages and see what resonates best with your subscribers.
Use this data to continually refine your advertising strategy. The information you get from your email campaigns is invaluable if you decide to do a big ad spend for Google Ads or print advertising and so on. Once you have found a message that reliably converts, you’ve hit gold! Try it out on other channels as well.
Taking Your Email Marketing to the Next Level
Even after doing all of the above, given how inundated by email most of us are, only a small percentage of the subscribers who receive your emails will read them and even fewer will respond. But there are ways to increase that percentage and improve your response. For tips on crafting emails that people will pay attention to, visit Winning the Inbox Wars – Writing Emails That People Will Actually Read.